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Thursday, September 29, 2011

Mold Found in Government Center

A consultant hired by Orange County to assess the flood damage to the shuttered County Government Center in Goshen Wednesday revealed there is toxic black mold growing in the building.

County Executive Edward Diana took and other media through the building to show firsthand what the conditions are inside the sprawling structure. Diana took the occasion to lobby for construction of a new building, which he said, among other things, would be far more environmentally efficient.

“I’ve seen all the data, I’ve studied all the data, and I think it’s the best alternative, but if 14 legislators decide something different, they we have to do that. That’s okay. We’ll do that,” Diana said. “But, it’s got to be one or the other. It can’t be a temporary fix; it’s got to be a permanent fix. It’s got to be something that’s there.”

Diana and the consultants illustrated the greatest areas of mold proliferation caused by wetness and insufficient ventilation, which has rendered the building uninhabitable forever, by Diana's approximation. With water throughout the facility, Alfred Fusco of Fusco Engineering and Land Surveying said complete removal is a tall order.

"The dampness is caused by the roof structure. One of the biggest weaknesses of the building is its many roofs. Through the recent storms, we've had tremendous amounts of water within a narrow channel of time," he said. "The roofing drains aren't positioned in the proper location; the roofs are not pitched toward the drains; and subsequently through freezing and thawing the roof has created a lot of voids."

Fusco's is one of several teams along with Labella Associates, Fellinger Engineering and BBL that have been contracted to evaluate the damage in an ongoing report to the county legislature. The report will determine the county's decision on whether to rebuild or renovate, as well as FEMA reimbursement.

Dr. Marco Pedone of Environmental Management Solutions was brought in to perform environmental testing, and discussed some of his findings.

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